Temple Sinai’s Religious School boasts a vibrant and fun-filled educational experience for children aged three through Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Approximately 135 children attend sessions once or twice a week in the “West Wing” of our building.
The religious school enjoys a full complement of skilled and dedicated teachers — many who have been teaching in our school for many years. Parents and congregational members volunteer to assist with special programs, field trips and holiday celebrations, as needed.
All children enrolled in our School attend the Sunday Judaica program from 10:00am-12:15pm. These classes include the study of religious, historical and cultural aspects of Jewish life.
In addition, students in grades 4 through 7 attend a Wednesday evening session, from 6:30pm-8pm, devoted to learning the Hebrew language and prayers. Hebrew students use Mitkadam, a Hebrew curriculum recently developed by the Union of Reform Judaism. This program is self-paced, allowing students to grasp material and attain mastery at their own rate. A detailed overview, with samples of the material, is available at www.urj.org.
Students enrolled in the Hebrew program also participate in a 30-minute Tefillah (prayer) period at the end of the evening led by one of our rabbis. This provides the students with an opportunity to develop further their prayer skills. Our school has developed a list of Hebrew prayer objectives for the Tefillah period, as well as a schedule of prayers to be taught over the course of each school year.
Periodically throughout the year, each student’s progress is assessed and parents receive mid-year and year-end progress reports.
Bar and Bat Mitzvah Studies
Prior to their celebration, students who are becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Temple Sinai must have attended at least three years of both the Sunday Judaica and the Wednesday Hebrew programs. During the year leading up to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration, each student participates in a special program which includes individual study with the rabbis and a tutor, development of a Mitzvah Project and a monthly class for Bar/Bat Mitzvah students and parents.
Mitzvah projects have included:
- Volunteering at Wesley Nursing Home
- Gathering donations of pet food and care items for local shelters
- Baking and delivering challah to community residents on Shabbat
- Preparing and serving food at the local soup kitchen
- Accepting food and necessity items for victims of natural disasters
Temple Sinai is truly unique in the number of post Bar/Bat Mitzvah students who choose to assist in the Religious School post celebration. About 90 percent of our students continue in the program post-b’nai mitzvah. This three-year program includes an inter-generational learning experience, culminating in a confirmation ceremony held at Shavuot. Students in the confirmation class have the opportunity to serve as teacher’s aides (during either Sunday Judaica or Wednesday Hebrew classes), or office staff.